Zimbabwe’s medium pacer Kyle Jarvis has decided to quit international cricket at the raw age of 24 to take up an offer in county cricket. Jarvis’ shock decision has come just a few days before the Pakistan series kicks off. Jarvis’ retirement has also come in the wake of the players’ stand-off with the board over payment issues. In his short but impressive career, Jarvis picked up 30 wickets in eight Tests, averaging 32 with two five-wicket hauls and 27 wickets in 24 ODIs averaging 45. Here is a look at a few other cricketers who hung up their gloves before 30.
Tatenda Taibu: The former Zimbabwe wicket-keeper batsman retired at the age of 29 in July last year to concentrate on his church activities. Taibu made his debut as an 18-year-old in 2001 and went on to become the youngest ever Test captain in 2004. During a chequered career, he featured in 28 Tests, and scored 1546 runs averaging 30 with one hundred and 12 fifties. In ODIs, Taibu played 150 matches and scored 3393 runs with two tons and 22 fifties averaging a shade under 30.
Ravi Shastri: The former India all-rounder began his career early, and also quit early. A recurring knee injury meant he played his last Test before the age of 30. During an impressive career, which lasted from 1981 to 1992 Shastri featured in 80 Tests, scoring 3830 runs with 11 hundreds averaging 36. With the ball, he picked up 151 wickets averaging 41 with two five-wicket hauls. In ODIs, he played 150 games and scored 3108 runs averaging 29 with four hundreds. With the ball, he claimed 129 wickets with one five-wicket haul and averaged a pretty reasonable 36.
Basit Ali: He was one of Pakistan’s most talented batsmen in the 90s, and was even compared to the legendary Javed Miandad. However, he could not live up to the talent and retired at the age of 26 after a career that lasted just three years from 1993-1996. In fact, both he and Rashid Latif announced their retirement after accusing their teammates of match-fixing. In his brief career, Ali featured in 19 Tests and scored 858 runs with only a solo hundred, averaging a disappointing 27. He fared slightly express in ODIs, playing 50 matches and scoring 1265 runs averaging 34 with one hundred. He remains among the many unfulfilled talents of international cricket.
Geoff Allott: A former left-arm seamer from New Zealand, Allott had the talent to achieve a lot more than he eventually did. However, his career was over before he turned 29 due to a persistent back injury, which kept him more out than in the side. Allot is best remembered for his stupendous performance in the 1999 World Cup, during which he claimed 20 wickets, and was the joint highest wicket-taker in the tournament, along with Shane Warne. During his career, Allot played 10 Tests and 31 ODIs, claiming 19 and 52 wickets averaging 58 and 23 respectively.
--By A Cricket Analyst